China has criticized ‘malicious hyping up’ of Peng Shuai case

China criticized the response in the Peng Shuai case, saying the controversy over the tennis player’s safety was “maliciously hyped.”

Shuai accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault earlier this month and has not heard from him for a few weeks, sparking widespread concern over his fate.
The 35-year-old has since participated in a video call with IOC President Thomas Bach, who reported that she appeared to be safe and healthy, but the WTA remains concerned for her well-being.

China has since condemned the perceived malevolence toward the case, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, “This is not a diplomatic matter.
“I think you’ve all seen her attend some public events recently and have a video call. I think some people should stop hyping, let alone politicizing, deliberately and maliciously.”

Chinese state media initially released several photos and videos purportedly confirming Shuai’s safety, but stars such as Serena WilliamsAndy Murray and Novak Djokovic have all expressed concern over the former doubles number one.